Area Home Page

Events

Drive Reviews

Newsletter

Contact

 Gallery

For Sale/Wanted

Awards

 ROW Report 

 BDS main site 

The British Driving Society
East Sussex

DRIVE REVIEWS

 IMPROMPTU DRIVES

We want to try and plan some impromptu pleasure drives throughout the year which are in addition to drives already planned.  If you would like to be informed of any drives that may be arranged during the year please send your email address to Pearl Hudson at pahudson@aol.com.

We are also looking for more venues to hold BDS drives, so if you would like to host a drive can you also please let Pearl know. Even if you can only cater for 2 or 3 turnouts it would be good to be able to offer more drives to our members.

 

Copford Farm Drive, Waldron Green 6th June

 We had a very good attendance at this drive with 10 turnouts coming to do the quiet country lane drive around Chiddingly and Muddles Green.  As with most of our drives there were several routes available but as it was quite a warm day most people decided to do just 7 or 8 miles.  Participants set off in twos or threes when ready.  Everyone had a lovely drive.  The venue is perfect for parking as we have a very large open field which looks out across the rolling countryside.  A lot of the drive was along wooded lanes which gave shade to the horses.

 

Springfield Farm Drive, Rushlake Green 23rd May

 The wet weather the week or so before the event made the field too wet to unbox in so we had to unbox on the hardstanding around the farm.  This placed a limitation on the size of lorry we could accommodate and unfortunately two members were not able to attend as a result.  Apologies to them.  There were 7 turnouts that could be accommodated.  This venue offers a superb selection of quiet country road drives of various lengths but on the day everyone decided to do the 8.5 mile route which follows the ridge road and affords extensive views across the Sussex countryside.  The weather decided to offer us a selection of what it could do and the drive was a mixture of sunshine and showers.  

 

Little Downash Farm Drive, Hailsham 2nd May

 Another lovely sunny day greeted the 8 turnouts on this drive.  Members from Surrey and Warwickshire attended this drive too.  There were two main routes: a flat quiet country drive across the Pevensey marshes with 360 degree views; or an equally quiet country road drive around the hamlet of Hankham.  Participants chose which route they wanted to do on the day.  Some drove out on their own while some preferred the company of others.  Everyone had fun and enjoyed the morning.

 

Havenswold Drive, Hailsham 11th April

 After a break of nearly six months due to Covid lockdown we were able at last to hold a drive from Dick Tannerís place in Hailsham.  The long dry spell had dried out the ground and we were able to unbox in one of his fields.  We had seven turnouts including members from Kent and Surrey, a rider and a cute young Shetland who was long reined to the meet in order to see what it was all about.

 This venue offers wooded byway tracks, which were all dry and firm underfoot, with quiet country lanes.  Several routes available offered different lengths and catered for the differing levels of fitness and sizes of equines which was just as well as we had Shetlands to Clydesdales and all sizes inbetween.

 

Havenswold Drive, Hailsham 25th October

We just managed to hold another drive before national Covid restrictions forced us into another lockdown.

Torrential rain was the main feature of this drive for the four turnouts and 1 rider who attended. As the venue was close to her stables, Rosie Fieldwick drove Millie to the venue and met the other participants at the start.

Despite the rain that had fallen over the previous night and was continuing to fall on the Sunday morning, the off road woodland tracks were still firm underfoot. Sarah Otway decided to do the long off road drive through Abbots wood while the other members did a shorter country road drive. Everyone got very wet including the equines. Needless to say, as soon as the drive was over, the sun came out. If only we had made it an afternoon drive!

 

Little Downash Farm Drive, 18th October

Only four turnouts attended the drive from Little Downash Farm. Claire Cousens drove her pony from her home stables to meet up with the other participants at Little Downash Farm. Three turnouts did the quiet country road drive around the pretty hamlet of Hankham. While Sarah Otway drove Hodge on the 12 mile scenic round trip across the Pevensey marshes.

 

Firle Park Drive 6th September 2020

It was a perfect warm and sunny autumnal morning for the Firle Park drive. There were eleven turnouts with one from a West Sussex member and these were accompanied by a rider.

Like everywhere, Covid had its effect with the Park being sealed off and special arrangements had to be made with the Estate Management to ensure that this drive went ahead. The route was a mile shorter this year as we were not able to traverse the village a second time due to the need to man gates that were normally open but this did not detract from the beauty of this drive which is nearly all off road and has outstanding scenery as it follows the original coaching road which has been closed since 1812. It is truly a magical and special place.

 

High View, Framfield 8th August 2020

We had our usual drive from Sue Page's establishment this year but this time we had to hold it on a Saturday morning. To make it a bit different this year, Sue organised a different route from the usual one. Members were able to take advantage of the new route, or complete the usual route if they preferred. It was a very hot morning and all of the eight turnouts and one rider chose to do the usual route. Fortunately much of the route took the participants through tree covered, green leafy lanes so it was not as hot as it might have been. At one point a deer leapt across the road right in front of the procession of horses but the horses just took it in their stride.

It was a lovely sunny day with a cool breeze, which meant that the horses did not get too hot. Members were able to drive either individually or in small groups. Social distancing was practised throughout the event.

 

Evening drive, Little Downash Farm 1st August 2020

The previous day had been the third hottest on record for the UK but fortunately the temperature had dropped by 10įC by the day of our drive and that coupled with the fact that we held an evening drive made it very pleasant for all participants especially the horses.

We had six turnouts planned but on the day only four turned up plus we also had a rider accompany two of the turnouts which drove out together in company. The two other turnouts went on their own.

For those that remember Lynda's sumptuous refreshments, they were sadly missed this year as no refreshments could be provided due to Covid restrictions.

Our most grateful thanks go to Lynda Baker-Beal for providing the safe venue and to Gina and Kevin Jeffery for manning the long driveway all evening and ensuring that everyone was safe entering and exiting the venue.

 

Havenswold Drive 26th July 2020 

Dick Tanner had very kindly provided us with one of his fields to unbox in again. We had nine turnouts, including a member from Surrey, two guest members and a rider. There were a choice of several routes available and most members decided to do the long 10 mile route but two turnouts, with smaller ponies, did a shorter 8.5 mile route. Both of these routes included the long 3 mile woodland byway through Abbots wood.

Jason Fieldwick came with his recently trained to driving cob, Joker,

This was a lovely quiet and picturesque drive and everyone arrived back safely. As there were no refreshments provided by our host under Covid rules, attendees brought their own packed lunches which they ate in the field while they enjoyed the summer sun.

 

Fletching Drive Sunday 5th July 2020

Sue Page had offered her woodland in Fletching as a venue for a Trec.  However it was decided to cancel the Trec due toCovid-9 restrictions.  However, we decided to hold a drive or Treasure Hunt from the same venue instead.  Eleven turnouts took part from East Sussex, Surrey and Kent and all opted to do the road drive followed by a drive through Sue Pageís lovely woodland, which took them along wide paths and past a beautiful lake.

It was a lovely sunny day with a cool breeze, which meant that the horses did not get too hot.  Members were able to drive either individually or in small groups.  Social distancing was practised throughout the event. 

After the drive, participants were able to enjoy their own refreshments and picnic in the wood.

 

Summer Solstice Charity Drive Havenswold 21st June 2020

In line with the new spirit of the BDS supporting and improving the life of working and harness horses, we decided to hold a charity drive in aid of American Fondouk, an equine hospital which provides veterinary and farrier care to the working horses, mules and donkeys in the city of Fes, Morocco.  These poor equines have to do back breaking work under the most appalling conditions and desperately need the care provided by American Fondouk.

Our Summer Solstice Charity evening drive was going to be held at Cliffe Equine Veterinary practice at Laughton, who also supports the charity.  However, due to Covid-19, they closed their premises to members of the public and so we lost our venue.  Not wishing for the charity or our members to lose out, Dick Tanner offered us one of his fields to unbox in.  So we ran the drive from Havenswold, Hailsham.

 It was a lovely sunny evening and we had eight turnouts and a rider.  Havenswold is well placed for driving as it is situated close to three off road byways all accessed via quiet country roads.

Most turnouts did the 10.5 mile route which took in all three byways.  There were also several shorter routes, which some participants did, but even these included one wooded byway.

Members were charged a minimum donation of £10 per turnout and each turnout was given a lovely rosette sponsored by the BDS.  Thanks to the generosity of BDS members who attended and many others who did not, we raised a grand total of £445.  All of the money has gone to American Fondouk with no deductions and it will go a long way to help relieve the suffering of those hardworking horses, donkeys and mules who would, without the support of the equine hospital, have to stumble along without any veterinary or farrier care.

 

Copford Farm Drive Sunday 14th June 2020

This drive went ahead as planned but with Covid-19 restrictions in place.  We had a lovely sunny day and were parked up in a very spacious field that overlooked some beautiful rolling countryside.  This venue offers several routes of varying lengths all on very quiet scenic roads.

There were 11 turnouts booked but on the day only 8 turned up and we were accompanied by 1 rider too.  We did have participants from across the counties as members from Kent and Surrey joined us.  All the participants seemed very pleased to be able to get out and meet friends again.  Everyone keenly adhered to social distancing and no one touched anything other than their own equipment as the gate was manned by Pearl Hudson wearing gloves and face mask.

 We did not provide toilet facilities or refreshments but participants were able to enjoy their own picnic lunches after the drive in beautiful surroundings.